Central Alberta real estate market remains red hot.
In the first two months of this year, 784 homes have changed hands across the region — a 71 per cent increase from the same two months in 2020.
In Red Deer, sales have soared 60 per cent — 237 through February compared with 148 in January and February 2020, according to Multiple Listing Service statistics.
Sales numbers are by far the best in the region and the city over the past five years in the online table from the Central Alberta Realtors Association.
“I think realtors are doing well,” said realtors association president Lindsay Olver. “They’re fairly positive about it.
“It’s almost a relief from last year and with everything that’s been going on,” said Olver, broker and owner of Red Deer’s Coldwell Banker On Track Realty.
“Usually a strong housing market is indicative of what’s going on in the economy.”
The enthusiasm for house buying and selling is being fed partly by interest rates, which remain low and make borrowing more attractive.
“People who can buy are buying right now.”
Average sale prices are also on the rise — $342,164 in central Alberta this year, compared with $294,170 in 2020. Red Deer is showing a similar trend with average house prices at $351,784 this year, compared with $318,177 at the same time last year.
Olver said while house prices are on the rise, but they are not skyrocketing, which has been the case in Toronto and Vancouver and other hot markets.
“I’m glad the prices are not going up as quickly as they are in Eastern Canada,” she said.
In some other areas around central Alberta, sales through two months have more than doubled from last year. In Red Deer County, 143 residential units have been sold this year, up from 66 last January and February.
Sylvan Lake’s market has also heated up, with 61 sales so far this year, more than double the 26 of a year ago. Lacombe is also off to its best start in five years with 28 homes sold far, compared with 25 last year. Blackfalds sales increased to 43 from 28, Innisfail 14 from 11, Penhold eight from three, Ponoka 17 from eight, Rocky Mountain House 13 from 11 and Stettler 16 from six.